My name is John Gillespie, the host and producer of JOHN GILLESPIE'S WATERS & WOODS television show. Over the past 17 years we have produced 807 consecutive episodes, in other words, a new show each and every week. I am not an expert fisherman, instead I rely on the expert guides that service the upper Midwest. Over the years I have learned a lot from these guys and I hope our viewers have too.
Filming a new show every week, 52 weeks a year, you can understand that we have to deal with some pretty severe conditions from 41 below zero to 103 degrees. We deal with wind, cold fronts, and days when fishing is downright tough. Yet we still have to produce an interesting program no matter what the weather gods deal us.
For that reason we have to look for every extra advantage we can to make the fish bite.
That always requires us to have many different types of presentations with us. For example, if we are Walleye fishing, we carry jigs, crank baits, plain hooks, crawler harnesses, etc. We always have several different types of live bait such as minnows, crawlers, leeches and plastics. Having everything in your arsenal and having each angler try a different bait until you figure out a pattern can make all the difference in the world between success and failure on the water.
That brings me to scent... Every guide I fish with worries about human odors that can spook fish. Gas, bacon, cigars, soap, oil, even your natural odors can spook fish. There are many days when using scent has made a significant difference. Several years ago on Lake Erie we were casting weight forward spinners tipped with crawlers. One angler was using BAITMATE, I was not. He caught 9 eyes to my 3 before I relented and starting using the scent. I quickly caught up. Captain Paul, one of the best on Lake Erie explained to me that walleyes are attracted to lures through their lateral lines. Once they zero in on the lure, the scent is an added attractant that will make them bite.
I have seen scent make a difference many times. Big Dave Ehardt, who is the consummate river rat, won't get in the boat without BAITMATE. He explains that applying the scent to live bait or artificials will send a trail of attractant down the current and draw fish to the bait. This added advantage is huge especially in low visibility water like rivers.
Those are just a couple of examples of how scent can make a difference. It attracts fish and can actually make them strike. The bottom line is always be prepared with different baits and lures and don't forget scent adds to your chances for success. You want to have every variable on your side when you leave the dock.